Tribal Development Program for Katkari tribes at Mulshi

May 23, 2024

We found that the ‘Katkari’ community living in the Mulshi region is detached from development and education. Children walk many kilometers just to reach school. This is a community that is gradually fading away because of health and unemployment issues too. Rohan has taken up the mantle of developing this community through various sustainable plans.

The Katkari, a Scheduled Tribe mainly found in Maharashtra, speak both their native Katkari language and Marathi. Considered a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG), they face fragmentation and dispersal, relying heavily on others for survival. Primarily landless, they often work as laborers in brick kilns and other’s agriculture farm, straying from their traditional forest-based livelihoods. Today, they are disconnected from their nomadic roots, struggling to maintain a foothold in modern society.

In the Mulshi region, Katkari communities lack basic necessities like water, electricity, toilets, and proper housing. Illiteracy, poverty, and ignorance are widespread among the tribal villages. Nearly all residents are landless and homeless, working on farms, brick kilns, or earning daily wages due to limited skills and job options. This leads to high rates of migration.

Most Katkari settlements in Mulshi are on private lands and consist of temporary mud houses, with over majority of the population living in inadequate conditions. Access to essentials like water and sanitation facilities is scarce, with only a few villages receiving assistance from the local government.

Education is often neglected, with many Katkari children dropping out of school due to punishment and an unfriendly learning environment. Socio-economic barriers further isolate them in the classroom, with few teachers making efforts to support them. Poverty contributes to high dropout rates.

Our interventions:

Our Objective:

To promote the all-round development of the tribal Katkari community residing in the select hamlets of Mulshi Taluka.

Our Programs:

1. Documentation & making of caste certificates for Katkari people

  • The direct community intervention programs were mainly conducted in 5 hamlets but for caste certificates and other documentation, our target is to cover all the 86 Katkari hamlets situated at Mulshi. This year we covered 30 hamlets and submitted 401caste certificate applications at the SETU office.
  • Earlier in 2018 we distributed 800 caste certificates to the Katkari people for which they could get benefits such as Gharkul, loans, etc.
  • Making important documents of the Katkari people is an ongoing activity with the support of the Tehsil office at Paud, Mulshi.

2. Potential enhancement & Education development of Katkari Children

  • The Comprehensive Child Development Program (CCDP) for Katkari Children in Mulshi Taluka, Pune, aims to address challenges faced by children aged 7-16. The primary issues include a lack of confidence to integrate into mainstream populations, whether rural or urban and a deficiency in social and psychological skills hindering access to opportunities. The program is executed by implementing partner organization Jnana Prabodhini  Samshodhan Sanstha,  with around 120 children from 4 villages in Mulshi taluka & children from Male hostel.
  • Tailored to the specific needs of Katkari children, the program diverges from traditional academic support and employs a creative learning approach. Sessions are age-appropriate and vary in intensity, focusing on the cognitive and socio-emotional domains. In the cognitive domain, the emphasis is on fundamental thinking skills such as observation, memory techniques, and logical and creative thinking. The program also addresses the socio-emotional domain, teaching children to understand and express emotions, fostering confidence, basic communication (reading/writing), and promoting positive engagement and well-being.
  • The program was implemented by NGO partner Jnana Prabodhini Samshodhan Sanstha. The pedagogy was designed with distinct objectives, centering on cognitive skills derived from thinking, reading, learning, remembering, reasoning, and paying attention. Furthermore, the program underscores social skills, involving emotional intelligence, and communication, both verbal and non-verbal. Notably, the emphasis extends to emotional skills essential for effective interaction.
  • The overarching goal of the CCDP is to nurture children for holistic development, promoting their well-being and quality of life. By incorporating a creative learning approach, the program aims to make education interesting and interactive, thereby raising awareness among both children and parents. Through a comprehensive curriculum, the CCDP addresses the unique challenges faced by Katkari children, fostering their cognitive and socio-emotional growth to enable them to excel in life.

3. Empowerment and capacity building of Katkari youth

  • 20 youth volunteers are identified and are called “Change Agents”. They are trained and prepared to serve as community volunteers representing their hamlets and work for the development and Upliftment of their community. They belong to the Katkari Tribe and come from various villages of Mulshi.
  • The focus is also to provide support, guidance, and handhold the youth volunteers to establish them with a sustainable livelihood source, financial stability, and personal/professional growth.
  • The youth volunteers were engaged in various activities and the following topics:
  • Information about Government schemes, and the importance of documents such as Abha Card. Sukanya Samriddhi, Driving license, awareness sessions, and workshops on education/health / Government benefits were conducted along with exposure visits

4. Collaborate with Govt for construction of houses approved under PMAY

  • The 1st housing project started on May 23 with Mugaon, near Lavasa at Mulshi in collaboration with Government – Panchayat Samiti. 50 houses were sanctioned 45 from Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and 5 from Aadim Gharkul Yojana. The Gharkul was sanctioned only after they got their caste certificate. Rohan Builders supported in kind by providing materials such as Roofing Sheet, angles, Door, Windows, coloring, verandah, Mundari
  • The purpose of extending support under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana and Adim Gharkul Yojana to the landless Katkari tribal people, who have been residing on others’ land for generations, is to
  • Facilitate the construction of permanent, secure, and dignified housing.
  • By offering pukka houses to these communities, the project aspires to bring about transformative change, fostering improved living conditions, stability, and a significant boost to their socio-economic standing. The provision of permanent housing is anticipated to empower the Katkari tribal people, not only by ensuring a sense of belonging but also by interrupting the cycle of migration, allowing for a more stable and settled lifestyle.
  • Additionally, the initiative is expected to positively impact education, providing children with improved access to educational opportunities and contributing to the overall betterment of the community.

5. Empowerment and capacity building of Katkari women

  • Navi Umed program focuses on the tribal Katkari women, who have very limited exposure and have endured dire living conditions for decades. The primary objective is to empower them with knowledge, skills, and resources for sustainable self-reliance.
  • Through targeted awareness sessions, the aim is to educate and inform these women about various aspects of health, hygiene, financial literacy, and social issues, thereby fostering an environment of informed decision-making.
  • Moreover, these interventions aspire to improve the overall well-being of the community by addressing the unique challenges faced by women, including limited access to education and economic opportunities.

6. Development Centre & Hostel for Katkari Children at Male, Mulshi

  • The center was inaugurated on 22nd May 2022 to serve as a residential hostel for Katkari children and also established as a Development Centre intending to give an identity to the Katkari community. The Development Centre will be used for conducting sessions, social events, workshops, and skill training. It is run by NGO partner “Vanawasi Kalyan Ashram”.
  • With a capacity to accommodate 100 children, at present the hostel is providing boarding & lodging facilities to 31 boy students focusing on their education, health, social security, and overall development.

Annual Project Reports:

Tribal Development Program – Katkari Community 2022-23

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